12/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Election Didn't Mobilize Chicago's Black Wards

Alderman Emma Mitts worked hard in the days before the presidential election to ensure that citizens in her West Side ward would take advantage of the opportunity to vote for the country's first black president.

She encouraged constituents to participate in early voting, and pushed a ride-sharing program to make sure transportation difficulties didn't keep people from casting their ballot.

Even so, turnout in her majority black ward was lower than the city average, and less than during the 2004 presidential election. Her ward is not unique.

Despite the popular perception that Sen. Barack Obama won the presidency on a tidal wave of enthusiasm in the African-American community, turnout in Chicago's majority black wards was lower than in other wards, according to a Daily News analysis of voting data.

In majority black wards, 72 percent of registered voters turned out. In other wards, 74 percent voted.

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